If you guys keep up, CBS ran an expose on yoga this past week.  William Broad has been a practicing “Yogi” for 30 years, but he’s also a rational person and a topical science writer.  So, he decided to investigate and explore the practice that he loved.  He finds that same thing that I have written about in the past.  Yoga is dangerous!  You have unqualified instructors stuffing people into poses that crunch bones, tissues and blood vessels (especially around the spine).  It can puncture lungs, form blood clots and lead to strokes.  Sounds like fun, right?  The problem is is that people who really are into yoga tout all the benefits, like strength, balance, etc.  All of these things can be achieved through other means that are significantly less dangerous and stupid.  Yoga doesn’t make you stronger.  Balanced, maybe.  But stronger is just a lie.  It causes joints to loosen and become less stable.  Which, even if an injury doesn’t occur in class (the incidences are higher than in weight training, by the way!), it can occur later when the body is not strong or stable enough to catch itself in a fall or loss of balance.  Yoga people are also the loudest.  They swear that yoga is the only true path to wellness and that it has complete healing powers.  Let’s see… you’re telling me that static stretching poses that involve no neural function whatsoever and can even cause injury is that one true path to health and well-being?  Even though the majority of instructors are un- or at the least under-qualified to do their job?  That’s like taking food advice from someone who lives on hot dogs and mac and cheese.  Yoga is one of the oldest fitness practices in the world.  Brought from the far eastern realms of society and practiced as much if not more than anything else.  But the forms of yoga that we see today are a sad, bastardized form of the original teachings. Fitness yoga is not true yoga.  There is truthfully little benefit to the classes that are taught by and to the masses at big box gyms.  They do little to help and more to harm the body, especially for those who are just beginning it.  Do yourself a favor, and just don’t!  Increase your mobility through work with a qualified trainer.  Now, with that said, you have to be careful there too. I have written in the past of the dangers of resistance training with bad trainers, as well. The bottom line is that anything done wrong can hurt you and you have to take care to do anything properly. Don’t do it just because someone told you too.